Key Battles: Manchester City vs Arsenal
Arsenal's Scottish defender Kieran Tierney (C) and Arsenal's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) celebrates at the end of the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 18, 2020. (Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS / POOL / AFP) / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Both sides have suffered injuries to their first teams and will be without key personnel, shaping up for what should be an extremely interesting match, as the master takes on the apprentice for the third time. 

  • Sergio Aguero v Rob Holding

Sergio Aguero has only just returned to full training this week and is leading the line for Manchester City.

His talents and prowess are clear to see, and he loves playing against Arsenal, scoring 11 goals in 15 appearances against Mikel Arteta’s men.

The centre back pairing of Rob Holding and Gabriel will be a tough force for Aguero to break down, especially not at full fitness. The pairing has been strong for Arsenal this season and looks like a strong pairing for the future.

Holding is the more senior player and has more first team experience. He may take charge of dealing with the threat of the Argentina forward.

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Kyle Walker

The Gunners captain hasn’t started the season as he would have hoped, with one goal in four appearances this season, netting on the opening day at Craven Cottage.

Aubameyang is expected to lead the line this afternoon, but his tendency to drift out wide and cut in will cause trouble for Kyle Walker. The Englishman’s pace certainly helps in his battle with Aubameyang and will not often be beaten by the Gabon internationals’ blistering speed, and should have more to his game than Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake to compete with the Arsenal striker.

  • Granit Xhaka vs Rodri

The sides have seemingly matched up with their formations, and the holding midfielders is an interesting matchup.

Granit Xhaka and Rodri are the more defensive minded midfielders in the line-ups, Arsenal using Bukayo Saka and Dani Ceballos means two more attack minded players, similarly to City using Bernado Silva and Phil Foden.

The centre of the pitch could be where this game is controlled and both possess game winning talents and attributes to dictate the play. 

  • Mikel Arteta vs Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola takes on his former assistant for the third time in four months, with the head-to-head level at 1-1.

Pep won the first game 3-0 after Project Restart in a dismal display for Arsenal and Arteta with an abundance of defensive errors.

The sides met again a month later in the FA Cup semi-final with Arteta coming out on top, Arsenal winning 2-0 and out classing City and Guardiola tactically, despite the Manchester side dominating possession.

It is sure to be an extremely interesting and entertaining match, both sides have had their defences questioned and reinforced in recent times.

The Gunners’ don’t have the best record away at the ‘Big Six’ and especially at Manchester City. 

Their confidence in recent meetings will give them a boost.

Pep’s side have stuttered at the start of the season, this will also give Arteta’s more confidence to go and out and gain three points.